Exodus 8:17

Exodus 8:17

And they did so
As follows:

for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod;
as directed and ordered:

and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man and in
which shows it was a miraculous operation, since lice do not usually spring from dust, but thrive in the sweat of bodies, and the nastiness of them, through sloth and idleness; and moreover, this was like the creation of man at first, which was out of the dust of the earth, and alike the effect of almighty power:

all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt;
that is, the greatest part of it, not that every atom of dust became lice, nor was the land of Goshen, in which the Israelites dwelt, infected with this plague, unless where any of the Egyptians were; though Dr. Lightfoot F4 thinks, that lice were in Goshen as in other parts of Egypt, there being no severing between Goshen and Egypt mentioned until the next plague; and since Israel had partook of many of the sins of Egypt, they must partake of some of her punishments; and he thinks this is the reason that the plague of lice is not reckoned among the plagues of Egypt in ( Psalms 78:44-51 ) because it was common to Israel, and to the Egyptians, and which is the sense of Aben Ezra on ( Exodus 7:24 ) . The account that Artapanus F5, the Heathen historian, gives of this plague, is this;

``Moses smote the earth with a rod, and produced a certain flying animal, which greatly distressed the Egyptians, and raised ulcers in their bodies, which no physicians could cure.''

And so Origen F6 describes this creature as

``having wings and flying in the air, but so subtile and minute as to escape the eye, unless very sharp sighted; but when it lights upon a body, it stings most bitterly, so that what a man cannot see flying, he feels stinging.''

Both seem to design the gnat, but this sort of vermin do not stick in and abide with men or beasts, as these here are said to do, but buzz about and bite, and then are gone.


F4 Works, vol. 1. p. 705, 706.
F5 Apud Euseb. ut supra. (Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 27. p. 435.)
F6 In Exod. Homil. 4. fol. 35. col. 2.